Showing posts with label sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sports. Show all posts

Shiva Thapa 1st Indian to Assure 4th Straight Asian Boxing Championships Medal

6:26 PM
Shiva Thapa 1st Indian to Assure 4th Straight Asian Boxing Championships Medal

Bangkok: Shiva Thapa (60kg) secured himself an unprecedented fourth successive medal, while veteran L Sarita Devi (60kg) made the semifinals for the first time in nearly a decade to continue India's stupendous run at the Asian Boxing Championships here on Tuesday.

In all, eight Indian boxers -- four women and four men -- advanced to the medal rounds on day two of quarterfinals.

The 25-year-old Thapa defeated Thailand's Rujakran Juntrong in a one-sided lightweight (60kg) contest. He prevailed 5-0 and has a tough semifinal lined up against Kazakhstan's Zakir Safiullin, a silver-medallist from the 2015 edition.

Thapa had won a gold in 2013, a bronze in 2015 and a silver in the 2017 edition of the marquee continental event. He is the first Indian to achieve the incredible feat.

In the women's draw, former world champion Sarita, who last reached the Asian semis back in 2010 and ended with a gold, defeated Kazakhstan's Rimma Volossenko in a split decision to advance.

Former junior world champion Nikhat Zareen (51kg) too booked her maiden semifinal berth at the tournament, beating Kazakhstan's Nazym Kyzaibay in the quarters.

Last edition's silver-medallist Manisha (54kg) also secured herself at least a bronze by defeating Filipino Petecio Zzaa Nice, while former national champion Simranjit Kaur (64kg) edged past a gritty Ha Thi Linh of Vietnam to make the last four.

Joining Thapa in the men's semifinals were Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Satish Kumar (+91kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg) and Ashish (69kg).

Ashish Kumar got the better of Kyrgyzstan's Omerbek Uulu Behzhigit in a unanimous verdict, while his namesake trounced Vietnam's Tran Duc Tho 5-0, displaying an impeccable counter-attacking game.

In the evening session, Satish out-punched Korean Kim Dohyeon, an exhausting showdown that left the Indian with a cut above his right eye.

Thapa, who is also a former world championship bronze-medallist and a two-time national champion, opened the proceedings for India and got busy immediately.

The Indian had a spring in his step as he went about dismantling his clueless opponent.

The technically superior Thapa also seemed to have added some more power to his punches and an aggressive streak which his rival found tough to deal with.

Ashish, on the other hand, was locked in a messy contest with Bekzhigit but was clearly the more accurate of the two boxers, finding favour with all the five judges.

Sarita also endured a draining contest against Volossenko but the veteran from Manipur raised the bar when it mattered to move ahead.

The performance in the championship is a turnaround of sorts for the 37-year-old, who ended without a medal at the world championships in Delhi last year.

However, Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Naman Tanwar (91kg) bowed out after losing his quarterfinal bout to Jordan's Hussein Eishaish Iashaish 0-5.

In the women's draw, it was curtains for Nupur (75kg) after she went down to North Korean Pak Un Sim in her quarterfinal bout.

Source: NEWS18

Sunil Chhetri receives the prestigious Padma Shri 2019

3:45 AM
Legendary Indian Gorkha footballer Sunil Chhetri receives the prestigious Padma Shri 2019 for his revolutionary unparallel service to Indian football. Chettri has scored 2nd highest number of goals in international matches after Cristiano Ronaldo. He recently surpassed Argentine footballer Lionel Messi to become the second highest goal scorer during Asian Cup 2019.

Sunil Chhetri receives the prestigious Padma Shri 2019

Popularly known as Captain Fantastic Chhetri has been named as an 'Asian Icon' by AFC on 3rd August 2018.Chettri has not looked behind since he began his professional career at Mohun Bagan in 2002.

Chhetri has been named AIFF Player of the Year five times in 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2017. In club football, Chhetri has scored as many as 122 goals in 235 appearances, while playing for major clubs like East Bengal, Bengaluru FC and Mohun Bagan to name a few.

We, Indian Gorkhas, would like to congratulate Sunil Chettri for doing us and nation proud once again.


GORKHA PRIDE: Former Indian Hockey Captain Bharat Chettri Wins Dhyanchand Award

9:56 PM

Every sports person worth his/her salt dreams of representing the National Team, very few get to become a part of that privileged group of select individuals who are called on to do the national duty. Rarer still are the chances even amongst those very few individuals who have been called on national duty to be asked to Lead the National Team .
Bharat Chettri Wins Dhyanchand Award

But the rarest of those honours, that every sporting individual dreams of all life long, is to lead the team in the Olympics.

Bharat Chettri - local Kalimpong lad has lived all the dreams any sports person can dream of.

He has the distinction of being the first goalie ever in the history of Indian hockey to lead Team India at the Olympics. He has participated in and won many international tournaments for India.

Yesterday, President of India Ram Nath Kovind presented Dhyan Chand Award 2018 to one of our National Icons Shri Bharat Kumar Chettri in recognition of his outstanding achievements and contribution for the promotion of Hockey.

The Dhyan Chand Award, officially known as Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sports and Games, is the lifetime achievement sporting honour of the Republic of India. The award is named after Dhyan Chand (1905–79), an Indian field hockey player who scored more than 1000 goals during a career which spanned over 20 years from 1926 to 1948.

It is awarded annually by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. Recipients are selected by a committee constituted by the Ministry and are honoured for their contributions to sport both during their active sporting career and after retirement.

We Congratulate Bharat sir for his wonderful achievement, and for being so phenomenally inspirational.

Via The DC

Sushmita Lama Qualifies for Asian Chess Championship

9:14 AM
Gorkhas Daughter, a Sikkim University student, Sushmita Lama stands 2nd in 19th National Chess Championship 2018; Qualifies for Asian Championship

It was a great pleasure to meet the pride of Northeast from Sikkim, National Chess champion, Sushmita Lama, who is also a student of the Central University of Sikkim. Lama recently achieved 2nd position in 19th National Cities Team Chess Championship 2018 organised by Darjeeling Chess Association whereby she also qualified for Asian level championship.
Sushmita Lama Qualifies for Asian Championship
Sushmita Lama Qualifies for Asian Championship

Sushmita has a slate full of memorable victories. She defeated the chess champion of Nepal Bhupendra Nirola in 2016 in Gangtok. She defeated Anish Gandhi another well known Indian Chess Champion in 2014 from Delhi.

Sushmita has been participating in various Chess Championships since she was studying in Class Seven. She has participated in many tournaments across the nation. In Under 15 Championship held in Tripura, she achieved 2nd position in the entire North East. In the 6th North East under 19 Championship held in Imphal in 2013 she was rose as a Champion. In the 15th Parsvnath Delhi International Open Chess Tournament (held in New Delhi she stood third all in all wining the Best Female Chess Player award.

Sushmita first learnt Chinese Checker from her mother, who later on also taught her Chess. She said that she loved playing chess because it needed great deal of concentration. She said that she would work hard to achieve greater results and represent the nation in the international level. She said that she had been the only girl to have participated in the first Chess Tournament held in Sikkim in 2008, the Lt. Garjaman Rai Memorial Chess Tournament. Since then she has done very well in Chess.

(by Bishal Joshi)

मिरिकमा फुटबल कोचिङ शुरु हुने

4:44 PM

१ अगस्तदेखि मिरिकमा फुटबल कोचिङ शुरु हुनेछ । प्रत्येक शनिबार र अाईतबार बिहान ७ बजेदेखि ८ बजेसम्म कोचिङ हुनेछ ।

कोचिङ क्लास यहाँको अाले खेल मैदानमा हुनेछ । कोचिङ क्लास सिलगढीको प्रसिद्ध क्लब डायनमिक फुटबल एकाडेमी अनि कञ्चनजंघा फुटबल क्लब ( केएफसी ) को संयुक्त अायोजनमा कोचिङ क्लास हुने मिरिक स्पोर्टस हाउसले जनाएको छ । ८ वर्षदेखि १९ वर्ष उमेरसम्मको ईच्छुक खेलाडीहरुलाई अंश ग्रहण गराएर फुटबल कोचिङ क्लास हुने जानकारी दिदै यी उमेरका खेलाडीहरुले भर्ना लिन सक्ने पनि बताए ।

तृणमूल स्तरबाट नै बलियो अाधार दिन अनि फुटबलको सठीक ज्ञान दिन फुटबल कोचिङ क्लास अायोजन गरिएको अनि कोचिङमा उत्कृष्ट हुनेहरुलाई इण्डियन अाई लीगमा पठाउने लक्ष्य राखेको अनि अण्डर १९को लागि पनि खेलाडी तयार पार्ने उद्धेश्य राखिएको केएफसीले जनाएको छ । फुटबल एकाडेमी पनि सुचारु हुने जानकारी दिदै एकाडेमी ३० जना खेलाडीहरु लिएर शुरु हुने जसकोलागि १२ जनाले भर्ना लिइसकेको अब १८ जनालाई भर्ना लिन बाँकी रहेको पनि मिरिक स्पोर्टस हाउसले जनायो । एक अगस्तदेखि शुरु हुने फुटबल कोचिङ क्लासको निम्ति मिरिक बजारको स्पोर्टस हाउससंग सम्पर्क राख्न अाह्वान गरिएको छ ।कोचिङको लागि २२ जुलाईसम्म नाम दर्ता गराईसक्नु पर्ने पनि स्पोर्टस हाउसले जनाएको छ ।

via Voice of Mirik

FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 FIXTURES WITH INDIAN TIMING.

11:32 PM

There will be 64 matches in TOTAL•

*Group A:-* Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
*Group B:-* Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
*Group C:-* France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
*Group D:-* Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
*Group E:-* Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
*Group F:-* Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
*Group G:-* Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
*Group H:-* Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

*THURSDAY, June 14/6/2018*
1.RUSSIA vs SAUDI ARABIA (8:30pm)

*FRIDAY, June 15/6/2018*
2.EGYPT vs URUGUAY (5:30pm)
3.Morocco vs Iran (8:30pm)
4.Portugal vs Spain (11:30pm)

*SATURDAY, June 16/6/2018*
5.FRANCE vs AUSTRALIA (3:30pm)
6.ARGENTINA vs ICELAND (6:30pm)
7.PERU vs DENMARK (9:30pm)
8.CROATIA vs NIGERIA (5:30pm)

*SUNDAY, June 17/6/2018*
9.COSTA RICA vs SERBIA (12:30am)
10.GERMANY vs MEXICO (8:30pm)
11.BRAZIL vs SWITZERLAND (11:30pm)

*MONDAY, June 18/6/2018*
12.SWEDEN vs SOUTH KOREA (5:30pm
13.BELGIUM vs PANAMA 8:30pm
14.TUNISIA vs ENGLAND 11:30pm

*TUESDAY, June 19/6/2018*
15.POLAND vs SENEGAL (5:30pm)
16.COLOMBIA vs JAPAN (8:30pm)
17.RUSSIA vs EGYPT (11:30pm)

*WEDNESDAY, June 20/6/2018*
18.PORTUGAL vs MOROCCO (5:30pm)
19.URUGUAY vs SAUDI ARABIA (8:30pm)
20.IRAN vs SPAIN (11:30pm)

*THURSDAY, June 21/6/2018*
21.FRANCE vs PERU (5:30pm)
22.DENMARK vs AUSTRALIA (4:30pm)
23.ARGENTINA vs CROATIA (11:30pm)

*FRIDAY, June 22/6/2018*
24.BRAZIL vs COSTA RICA (5:30pm)
25.NIGERIA vs ICELAND (8:30pm)
26.SERBIA vs SWITZERLAND (4:30pm)

*SATURDAY, June 23/62018*
27.BELGIUM vs TUNISIA (5:30pm)
28.GERMANY vs SWEDEN (8:30pm)
29.SOUTH KOREA vs MEXICO (11:30pm)

*SUNDAY, June 24/6/2018*
30.ENGLAND vs PANAMA (5:30pm)
31.JAPAN vs SENEGAL (8:30pm)
32.POLAND vs COLOMBIA (11:30pm)

*MONDAY, June 25/6/2017*
33.SAUDI ARABIA vs EGYPT (7:30pm)
34.URUGUAY vs RUSSIA (8:30pm)
35.IRAN vs PORTUGAL (11:30pm)
36.SPAIN vs MOROCCO (10:30pm)

*TUESDAY, June 26/6/2018*
37.AUSTRALIA vs PERU (7:30pm)
38.DENMARK vs FRANCE (7:30pm)
39.NIGERIA vs ARGENTINA (11:30pm)
40.ICELAND vs CROATIA (11:30pm)

*WEDNESDAY, June 27/6/2018*
41.S. KOREA vs GERMANY (7:30pm)
42.MEXICO vs SWEDEN (7:30pm)
43.SERBIA vs BRAZIL (11:30pm)
44.SWITZERLAND vs COSTA RICA (11:30pm)

*THURSDAY, June 28/6/2018*
45.JAPAN vs POLAND (7:30pm)
46.SENEGAL vs COLOMBIA (7:30pm)
47.PANAMA vs TUNISIA (11:30pm)
48.ENGLAND vs BELGIUM (10:30pm)

*LAST -16:-*
*SATURDAY, June 30/6/2018*
49.Group C-1st vs D-2nd (7:30pm)
50.Group A-1st vs B-2nd (11:30pm)

*SUNDAY, July 1/7/2018*
51.Group B-1st vs A-2nd (7:30pm)
52.Group D-1st vs Group C-2nd (11:30pm)

*Monday, July 2/7/2018*
53.Group E-1st vs F-2nd (12:30am)
54.Group G-1st vs Group H-2nd (11:30pm)
55.Group F-1st vs E-2nd (7:30pm)
56.Group H-1st vs G-2nd (11:30pm)

*QUARTER-FINALS:-*
*Friday, July 6/7/2018*
57.Winner 49 vs winner 50 (7:30pm)
58.Winner 53 vs winner 54 (11:30pm)

*SATURDAY, July 7/7/2018*
59.Winner 55 vs winner 56 (11:30pm)
60.Winner 51 vs winner 52 (12:00am)

*SEMI-FINALS:-*
*TUESDAY, July 10/7/2018*
61.Winner 57 vs winner 58 (11:30pm)

*WEDNESDAY, July 11/7/2018*
62.Winner 59 vs winner 60 (11:30pm)

*THIRD-PLACE PLAY-OFF:-*
Saturday, July 14/7/2018
63.Loser 60 vs Loser 62

*FINAL:-*
Sunday, July 15/7/2018
64. Winner 61 vs winner 62 (8:30pm)

Jitu Rai wins gold medal in Commonwealth games in air pistol event with new record

10:30 AM

Jitu Rai won gold in men’s 10m air pistol event setting a new Commonwealth Games record. Om Mitharval, who qualified for the final equaling the CWG qualification record, won silver. Australia’s Kerry Bell won silver shooting a total of 233.5.

Indian Gorkh shooting ace Jitu Rai claimed the gold medal in men's 10m air pistol event by creating a new games record while compatriot Om Prakash Mitharval bagged a bronze at the 21st Commonwealth Games here today.

World Championship silver medallist Rai shot 235.1 to comfortably finish top of the podium.

Mitharval, who had established a new qualification record with 584, eventually finished with the bronze medal after aggregating 214.3 in the eight-man finals at the Belmont Shooting Centre.

Australia's Kerry Bell managed to secure the silver medal with 233.5. In the finals, Jitu led with 100.4 at the end of stage 1, while Mitharval was third with 98.1. 

In stage 2 elimination, Rai started with 10.3 and 10.3 to lead the pecking order, even as his compatriot moved up and displaced Bell at second place with two 10.1s.

Championship Rai continued to surge ahead with a 10.2 but an 8.4 disturbed his momentum somewhat, as the next shot fetched him 9.2. Meanwhile, Mitharval closed the gap as Rai had just 8.8 in the 18th shot to Mitharval's 10.0.

However, Mitharval slipped after that even as Rai managed another 10.0 and maintained the lead throughout to emerge triumphant.

Via Indian Express

Mr. G.B. Giri awarded with IFBB Gold Medal

9:14 PM
Mr. Ganesh Bahadur Giri, commonly known as Mr. G.B. Giri or Guruji from Darjeeling was recently awarded with the IFBB (The International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) Gold Medal for his outstanding life contributions in the promotion of  Bodybuilding and Fitness.



The Medal was presented by the IFBB President Dr. Rafael Santonja as well as Dr. Sanjay More (Hon’ble General Secretary, Indian Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation) at the “Olympia Amateur India 2017” competition which is being held in Mumbai from Oct 13 - Oct 15.



Olympia Amateur India is a prestigious IFBB international event, an amateur version of the famous Mr. Olympia Pro competition.

Sunil Chhetri overtakes Wayne Rooney in active goal scorers list

7:14 AM

Sunil Chhetri surpassed Wayne Rooney as the current leading goal scorers in the world after his goal against Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday. He now has 54 International goals next to his name while Rooney sits at 53.

India captain Sunil Chhetri became the fourth highest active International player on Sunday after his goal against Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday. He surpassed England football great Wayne Rooney with a goal to sit on the fourth position after Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Clint Dempsey.

Chhetri’s goal against Kyrgyzstan in Bangalore not only helped India win the crucial AFC Asian Cup Qualifier in Bangalore but also increased his greatness quotient for the cricket-crazy country.

The Captain scored the only goal in the qualifier in the 69th minute which ensured India sat at the top of the Group. He made a brilliant run, dribbled past the defence, returned it to a waiting Jeje who fed a decent ball for his skipper. Chhetri, who was waiting in the area,  produced a spectacular goal to give India the lead.

The goal was his 54th strike for India, while Rooney sits at 53. Only football legends Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal, Argentina’s Lionel Messi and American Clint Dempsey stand ahead of the 32-year-old Chhetri.

While Ronaldo is the current leading goalscorer with 73 goals, the Real Madrid star is followed by rival Messi with 58 goals. With two more goals, Chhetri will stand par with Demsey to become the the highest active scorer only after the two legends Ronaldo and Messi.

Under coach Stephen Constantine, India have also improved their FIFA rankings to stand in the top 100 for the first time in 21 years.

Indian Express

Sunil Chhetri, The absolute Legend

10:31 AM

Sunil Chhetri, The absolute Legend.
Oh my God look at those stats. Look at his much superior goal scoring ratio per match.
We are so lucky that Indian football got a player like you. For us you are greatest of all time.

If someone says Messi , Ronaldo, Rooney  played against much stronger opponents to score those goals than our response is , all of them are from strong team themselves and had equally good playmates to assist them. If you have player like Angel de Maria to assist Messi , you shouldn't be complaining and comparing about the opposition. Above it just look at Sunil's Goal scoring Ratio, far better than among top 5. In fact he has highest goal scoring Ratio among top 100 footballing nation.
Admit it all of them are gem of football and Legends.

Share if you are a proud Indian.

Arjuna award for Shiva Thapa, Khel Ratna for Jitu Rai

8:19 AM
Writes: Buddham Moktan Tamang

The terms brave, fierce are very much associated with Gorkhas but now the overall scenario is different.

The so called brave Gorkhas can now be considered the modern Gorkhas of the 21st century who have excelled in many aspect whether it be social, economic, political and also at the intellectual level.

As such it is in this context that the name of Jitu Rai who was representing India at the Rio Oympics 2016 will be conferred the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2016, the highest sporting award in the nation

Not only him Shiva thapa who represented India in Boxing will be conferred the Arjuna award 2016 which is really a moment of pride for the entire Gorkha community.

Arjuna award for Shiva Thapa, Khel Ratna for Jitu Rai
Arjuna award for Shiva Thapa, Khel Ratna for Jitu Rai
So we the Gorkhas must be proud of their achievement since we have always been discriminated racially. This is an example where we Gorkhas stand now and we will even be progressing further in near future.

In the process, we also Congratulate our local lad from Siliguri Soumyajit Ghosh who is also receiving Arjuna Award this year.

Congratulations to all the Athletes and Coaches.

Via DT

Jitu Rai is considered India’s biggest bet for Rio Olympic medal

9:07 PM
India’s top shooter at Rio 2016 Olympics is a man who is most un-Bindra like in temperament. If Abhinav Bindra is intense, wrapped in himself and his sport, Rai, born in Nepal and now with the Indian army, is his opposite. Shivani Naik profiles the earthy, chilled out, nonplussed Jitu Rai who is unfussy about his sport, and with an outlook to life that has left his sponsors astonished, and his family proud.

Dinner nights scare Jitu Rai. He can make eating in front of people sound like the silent moan of American ladies of the hoopskirt era who nibbled on only a few morsels quietly and measuredly, because the only priority in public dining in those Civil War times, was to look elegant. Jitu didn’t need to fit into tight corsets like those poor little rich women wretchedly weaned away from hogging. But formal sit-down army lunches and dinners always ended up in the soldier returning to the empty mess a few hours later to chomp on a second helping of his favourite chicken.
Jitu Rai, soldier of 11 Gorkha Rifles is considered India’s biggest bet for an Rio Olympic medal
Jitu Rai, soldier of 11 Gorkha Rifles is considered India’s biggest bet for an Rio Olympic medal
Yatin Bhatkar, operations head at OGQ, his funding and facilitating sponsors, remembers one such lunch arranged by the Commandant of Mhow’s Army Marksmanship Unit, Col Lalit Sharma. “Jitu told me people speak in posh English and eat so little at these dos. And you’re expected to be polite and listen to others when they talk. Everyone ends up eating much less,” Bhatkar recalls him explaining. Jitu would call him a few hours later to report gleefully how he had polished off a heaped plate of tandoor murg, in his second hearty lunch sitting alone.

It was also Jitu Rai’s second chomp at success at Mhow and as an international marksman – he was packed off to his unit in Lucknow when he stagnated as a pistol shooter a few years ago. Heading into Rio, the 28-year-old soldier of 11 Gorkha Rifles is considered India’s biggest bet for an Olympic medal, though Bhatkar jokes he will have to persuade the shy jawaan to bite into the medal in full public view. He first sensed growing assuredness in the young man earlier this summer, when Jitu had confidently strode towards the dessert counter of the breakfast table at a city hotel without hesitation. “Arre tum log itna sa khaata hai,” he would mock complain, as he attacked the pastries guffawing at Bhatkar who considers Jitu an Olympics-bound athlete like no other he’s ever seen before.

Accustomed to Indian sportspersons’ sighing about lack of support, Bhatkar believes his non-profit fuelling Olympic dreams, has run into an outlandish man who has to be coaxed and cajoled to ask for help. The first time OGQ approached him, Jitu had asked fellow shooters Gagan Narang and Vijay Kumar why exactly would someone support him. He had also wondered how some blokes wearing shorts and sneakers could help him transform from being a shooter who made World Cup finals to someone who began winning those finals. “He’s used to the armed forces etiquette and formality. The first thing he told us was he’d expected someone wearing coats to turn up to help him,”

Bhatkar recalls. Chalking out a training programme in a coffee shop – and not an airconditioned corporate office with stuffy suits – was too much for his imagination in late 2013. “Vijay had to convince him to accept help.”

Not much has changed for India’s most consistent world-class shooter with 7 World Cup medals and podiums at every single elite championship he’s participated in – CWG, Asian Games, World Championships. Jitu still believes it’s mandatory to inform his benefactors and army seniors as soon as he reaches a new international city. He will politely ask for permission to check into a hotel room if there’s an overnight stopover at Frankfurt, and still ask “Are you sure?”

He needed a sports watch, worth Rs 6000 to time himself between shots after he’d returned from medalling at Asian Games and CWG in 2014. “But how can I ask you for it? How will you know whether it is useful to me or not if the coach hasn’t told you I need it?” he would quiz his befuddled backers. Taking a liking to a slightly expensive cycle to unwind after a hard day’s training shoot, he would agonise about it for days and ultimately put his life’s savings into buying it himself. It would take the Mumbai office three weeks to convince him to send across the bill from Indore to reimburse. He would first sheepishly tell them that he’d fallen for a cycle that was ‘thoda mehenga.’ Then he would ask how could he submit a bill if it’s not shooting equipment. Then he argued that there were cheaper cycles worth Rs 8000 in the market, but he had really fallen for a slightly costlier one. “I had to explain to him that he’s an elite athlete of India,” Bhatkar recalls.

Last heard, he had finally accepted a laptop to analyse his scores on the SCATT systems after months of running away from the expensive purchase.
Returning from a World Cup triumph once, Jitu Rai would miss his flight from Delhi to report to Mhow, stuck in the capital’s traffic for 2.5 hours. He would blame himself for not factoring in the time in that smoky snarl and end up booking his own tickets – last minute bookings that would set him back by a lot. “When we got through to him, he said as an Indian Army man he ought to have estimated the precise time. Petrified of missing flights ever since, Jitu will reach airports at 5 am for a 9.30 flight. He said it was his mistake and remained adamant to not accept a reimbursement. Where do you find such people nowadays?” Bhatkar wonders.

This one was found in Sankhuwa Sabha district in Nepal, though at the moment his family stays in Itahari, a city located in the Koshi Zone (south-eastern Nepal). Jitu’s mother Lily Maya Rai recalls an uneventful childhood of her now-famous son – always an introvert, spoke very little and never liked visiting relative’s homes. “He was a very good boy. Everything that he did, he would make sure it is done well and is complete,” she says, adding there was never much time for games. “He used to go to school and get back home and start off with other work on the field – cutting grass.
“Living conditions were all good till his father was still alive. Everything was alright. But then…” she trails off.

Jitu Rai had also cracked the British Army (Originally, there were four British Gorkha regiments which were amalgamated to form The Royal Gurkha Rifles in 1994 ) when he learnt of openings in the Indian army. “His friends were keen on India, so he also gave it a try and got through,” she says. The boy had seen hardship in his life, and the British army would’ve paid him more and given him British citizenship. None really knows why the lad chose the Indian army, though it might have something to do with continuation of loyalty from his father who might’ve served in same regiment, though sketchy details are known.

Jitu’s brother Bhanu Ghale though, recalls a few sporting honours from school. “There was always work to be done in the field. But there were a few games; Jitu liked playing Kabbadi and high jump. He even won an award in school called ‘Birendra Sheel’, named after the then King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev,” he recalls. Four of his brothers (there’s also one sister) would leave the country to find work in Dubai, Qatar and Malaysia, though all have since returned. Independent, hardworking and confident he always was, but what surprised the family was how he was willing to spend a lot of money from his own pocket initially to fund his sporting dream. “Earlier we thought, he was just going to be like any ordinary person from Nepal who goes to India to work. However, later we found out that he was using his own money to build his shooting career and do something different. Then we started hearing of his gold medals,” he adds.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a Gorkha — known to be excellent marksmen — is primed to win India one of its shooting medals at Rio. “Gorkhas came to India as conquerors in 1790s,” says Madhu Gurung, who’s penning a tome on the history of the regiment illuminating everyday lives of these hardy, brave, martial people. Having captured Kumaon, and passing Garhwal kingdom onto Dehradun where they’d fight the Anglo-Nepalese Wars, the Gorkha realm once spanned from Sutlej to Sikkim. The Brits began recruiting them in 1815, and Gurung notes how over 4 lakh of them would fight in the World Wars. “Jitu would’ve come through more or less the same system of Dallawaalahs who go recruiting to various localities in Nepal,” she adds.
In its 100th anniversary of the first of Anglo-Nepalese wars at Khalanga — considered a mournful British victory because it was as devastating as a loss — Jitu Rai is poised to hit bullseye and reprise the great marksmen skills of Gorkhas. Major-General Rollo Gillespie, who led the attacking troops, is said to have been shot through the heart by a sharp Gorkha sniper, though the brave resistance had come with mere khukris and a few muskets.

The Indian Army waits for another Gorkha to shine on August 6 & 10 with bated breath —a hundred years on.
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It’s always a marathon siege – the 50m free pistol event. Most Indians will tune into the Deodoro ranges in Rio when Jitu fires 60 shots in this long drawn gun-athon; considered pistol’s classical contest in precision. But few will appreciate what it takes to win the short barrel, heavier pistol show.

Imagine a very small target like in rifle, but shot with one hand. Like college marks in humanities, these scores tend to be lower. Not the high 90 percentile to feel exhilarated, a 565 / 600 would do just fine. The wind and the sun and the universe can conspire to make life difficult, and unlike the rifle which is largely about taming the weapon and the equipment, free pistol is about steely skill.

Pistols don’t offer the same stability of rifles, and are severely subject to ballistics – the handling, the support, air temperature, air speeds and weapon temperature. Quite simply, they are difficult beasts to be spot on with. Gun accuracy, they say, is an art few comprehend. In this, the army has done its best to give their man the best possible contraption. He flew down to the Morini factory Switzerland last year, there was a miniscule change in Jitu’s grip which was customised at Francesco. It took into account the anatomical structure of his palm and the contours of his hand – the finger that would pull the electronic hyper-sensitive trigger, reacting to that snap-connect between brain to nerve to finger.

‘‘It is about the ability to repeat the same performance over and over again,’’ explains former international Ashok Pandit. ‘‘Everyone knows how to shoot inner 10s, but you need to be patient to keep repeating it,’’ he says. It’s not a marathon for nothing. Jaspal Rana, India’s first pistol king, talks of the event needing a steady personality. ‘‘You should be able to stay where you are. It takes humility to repeat the same thing,’’ he philosophises.

It isn’t just the noise of guns going off by the opponents standing alongside you that you are trying to cope with but occasionally, you are fighting the crowd as well. In 2014 Asian games, where he won the gold at 50m, Rai was also in contention in the 10 m event when he lost his rhythm, as the crowd started cheering after an opponent aced the maximum score of 10.9. Rai lost his rhythm, and didn’t have enough time to regroup as the 50-second time limit ran out. He had to forego that shot and ended up with the bronze medal.

Alexander Melentyev held the world record in free pistol for 34 years – 581 / 600 – broken only at Granada in 2014 by Jin Jong-oh, where Jitu won silver. Pandit recalls shooting 558 at SAF Games for gold and being deliriously happy. ‘‘Indian standards were miserable. Jitu’s changed free pistol in India,’’ he says, with his added temperament for finals. At the highest stage, at the loftiest meets – Jitu Rai has gotten the job done.
The 50’s where the drama of the opera is – Jitu Rai could well become the first Indian to pick two medals in a single Olympic if he can also go the distance in 10m air pistol – where his scores aren’t too shabby either.

Abhinav Bindra has spoilt Indian shooting fans by laying bare for them a thousand shades of torment, a dozen signs of discomfort and the acutest of agonies suffered in pursuit of that 2008 gold medal, through his epic tome A Shot at History penned by word-maestro Rohit Brijnath. The book, though, sets you up for spectacular disappointment when you attempt to run the slivers of the Jitu Rai story through the same fine sieve of intensity. Bindra’s single-minded pursuit of an encore at Rio meant he returned from a test event at the host city earlier this summer, a tad ‘‘bored’’ at the sight of Christ the Redeemer.

On his arrival in Rio, Jitu would go and strike a Titanic pose in front of the imposing Landowski sculpted masterpiece of Jesus with outstretched hands. Complete with a goofy grin.

That’s chalk and cheese and soapstone and reinforced concrete — all manners of genius in dazzling white that’ll be present at the Olympics in Brazil.
It’ll be silly to think Jitu Rai doesn’t feel pressure – though he’ll never go about deconstructing it, he’d rather watch Bollywood comic capers and make you look silly for worrying – it’s just that he masks it well, chatting and walking around easy just before he’s shooting.

Viren Rasquinha of OGQ deals with a dozen shooters and has stacks of papers that detail how many of them compulsively change stance, technique, equipment – a thousand different screws, absorbers and accessories. ‘‘Jitu won’t bother about old foreign coach or new barrel and such other things. He believes in his own technique and way of training. There’s very little experimentation, it’s steady,’’ he states.

Until 2012 nobody knew Jitu Rai, and till 2014 Jitu Rai didn’t know Olympics was a big deal. He wasn’t star struck receiving an award once from Kapil Dev, and nodded obliviously as three-time Olympic champion Ralf Schumann held fort in English on succeeding. His happiest memory of the Arjuna Award ceremony was that his mother was flown down to Delhi, and enjoyed wearing footwear for the first time in her life.

There’s stage fright common to both luminous shooting stars – fright of the yakking on stage variety, but unlike Bindra who aced it in the end, Jitu doesn’t mind bumbling through it. He was told he’d be required to speak at a recent send-off function. ‘‘Maine room pe practice kiya ye boloonga, wo boloonga. Gurpreet saab ko stage pe dekha aur darr gaya. Upar jaake kadak ho gaya, main sab bhool gaya. Thank You kehke waapis aa gaya,’’ he would later say.

Uncharacteristically last May, Yatin Bhatkar got a frantic call from Jitu. ‘‘Sir, main English course karu kya,’’ the shooter would blurt out. ‘‘Haan karo, lekin tension nai hai. Aapko English mein shooting nai karna hai,’’ he was reassured. In a few day’s time, the rustic storm in the Earl Grey teacup had blown over after Jitu Rai walked upto Bhatkar and told him, ‘‘Sushil Kumar bhaisaab bhi Hindi mein baat karte hai.’’

It’s why the plethora of advice coming his way – mostly in English – amuses him, though he nods politely. Untroubled, unworried he’s the un-Bindraest of them all. Whether this de-complication brings him golden succeeds or not remains to be seen. Coaches were once attempting to explain to him to shut his mind off scores of other shooters as they flashed on the three screens during finals, to avoid them from distracting him. ‘‘Lekin announcement bhi hota hai,’’ he would pipe up. It’s not like shutting his eyes would change the scores, he’d think. Best to just see and be done with it. A mental trainer knew that day, his expertise meant not a thing to Jitu Rai.

Via indianexpress

स्टन्ट राइडर मिलन

11:14 PM
*Milan Pradhan is one of the most famous stunt riders from Sikkim.

नयाँ बर्ष २०७३ को प्रारम्भसँगै राजधानीका २ स्थानमा बाइक स्टन्टका अनौठा दृश्य प्रस्तुत गरिए । राइडर्स युनिफाइडको संयोजनमा संकटा मन्दिर परिसर र जावलाखेल मैदानमा सम्पन्न उक्त बाइक स्टन्टमा नेपाली स्टन्ट राइडरहरुको प्रस्तुति कम रोचक थिएन । यद्यपि भारतको सिक्किमबाट आएका मिलन प्रधानको स्टन्ट राइडिङ प्रस्तुतिले सबैभन्दा बढी प्रभाव छोड्न सफल भएको छ । बाइकलाई बेतोडले कुँदाउने, हुत्याउने, हात छोडेर कुँदाउने, बाइकमाथि खुट्टाले टेकेर पनि सन्तुलनमै कुँदाउने आदि मुटु नै सिरिङग हुने दृश्य उक्त अवसरमा देखिएका थिए । ‘यस्तो पनि गर्न सकिन्छ र ?’ भनी दर्शकले जिब्रो नै टोक्ने दृश्य प्रस्तुत गर्ने मिलनको क्षमतालाई कसले पो तारिफ नगर्ला र ? सिक्किमको गान्तोकमा बाइक वर्कसप र एसेसरिज तथा पार्ट्स व्यवसायको रुपमा ‘बाइकर्स सिक्किम’ संचालन गरिरहेका मिलनले सिक्किमकै नाम्ची गभर्मेन्ट कलेजमा पढेका थिए । कलेज पढ्दै गर्दा नै यस्ता स्टन्टप्रति रुची राख्ने साथीहरुको एउटा समूह थियो । उक्त समूहमा ९ जना थिए र उनीहरुलाई सबैले ‘बाइकर्स ब्वाइज’ भन्थे । उनीहरु ५ किलोमिटर टाढाको हेलिप्याडमा गएर यसका लागि अभ्यास गर्थे । खासमा मिलनले त्यतिखेर पनि स्टन्टका विभिन्न शैलीका वारेमा सुनेका पनि थिएनन् । एक दिन १५० सिसी पल्सरमा ‘ब्रेक लगाउदा पछाडिको चक्का माथि उठ्छ’ भनेर कसैले भनिदियो । उनले अभ्यास गरी हेरे । साँच्चिकै चक्का माथि उठ्यो । त्यसैलाई ‘स्टपी’ भनिदो रहेछ भन्ने कुरा पछि मात्र थाहा पाए । उनमा यस प्रकारको स्टन्ट गर्ने हौसला जाग्यो । त्यसपछि उनले यस्ता दृश्य भएका फिल्म हेर्न थाले । त्यसका लागि अभ्यास पनि गर्न थाले ।
Milan Pradhan is one of the most famous stunt riders from Sikkim.
Milan Pradhan is one of the most famous stunt riders from Sikkim.
उनले साथीहरुसँग मिलेर यस्ता ग्रुपको खोजी गर्न थाले । सिलिगुढीमा रहेको प्रसिद्ध बाइकर्स ग्रुप ‘एक्सकेएमपीएच’ को सम्पर्क खोजे । उनीहरु १ सय १० किलोमिटरको दूरी पार गरेर उनीहरुलाई भेट्न पुगे । अब मिलन यस्ता स्टन्ट सिक्न र जान्नका लागि मरिहत्ते गर्न थाले । इन्टरनेट, भिडियो मात्र होइन, बाइक इन्डिया र अन्य पत्रिकामा समेत स्टन्टका बारेमा खोजी गर्न थाले । युट्युबमा उनले यस्ता विभिन्न दृश्य हेर्ने र त्यसै अनुसार अभ्यास गर्ने गर्न थाले ।

विस्तारै बाइक स्टन्टको क्षेत्रमा मिलन परिचित हुँदै गए । उनी सिक्किममा स्थानीय स्तरमा आयोजना हुने विभिन्न प्रदर्शनीको अवसरमा आफ्ना कला देखाउथे । उनले अन्य स्थानमा पनि आफ्नो कला देखाउदै गए । सन् २००८ मा बजाज पल्सरले ‘फस्र्ट स्टन्ट मेनिया’ आयोजना गरेको थियो । उनी उत्तरपूर्वी भारतबाट भाग लिए र अडिसनको फाइनल राउन्डसम्म पुगे । बाइक इन्डिया म्यागेजिनले उनको कभर फोटो प्रकाशित ग¥यो । त्यसपछि त झन् उनको चर्चा एकाएक चुलियो । फोन आउने र अन्तर्वार्ताका लागि अनुरोध आउने हुन थाल्यो । उनी एउटा सेलिब्रेटी नै बने । स्टन्ट शो एउटा खतरायुक्त खेल भए पनि सुरक्षित रुपमा खेल्न सकिने उनको भनाइ छ । यसका लागि आफूमा स्टन्ट टेक्निक चाहिन्छ । भन्छन्, ‘जुनसुकै खेल पनि आफैमा खतरायुक्त हुन्छ । तर खतरामुक्त तरिकाले सिप सिकेर खेल्दा बाइक स्टन्ट पनि रोचक हुन्छ ।’ अहिले सिक्किममा कुनै फेस्टिभलको अवसरमा बाइक स्टन्ट हुन्छन् । यस्तो समयमा १०÷१५ दिनसम्म पनि स्टन्ट शो आयोजना गरिन्छ । यो समयमा उनी नयाँ राइडरहरुलाई स्टन्ट समेत सिकाउछन् । मिरिकका चिराग राई उनका मन पर्ने स्टन्ट राइडर हुन् । त्यसैगरी ‘किङ अफ स्टन्ट’ को रुपमा परिचित क्रिस पिफरलाई उनी फलो गर्छन् । क्रिस बीएमडब्ल्युका अफिसियल स्टन्ट राइडर हुन् । स्टन्ट राइडिङका लागि अन्य बाइक पनि उपयुक्त हुन सक्छन् । तर बजाज पल्सरमै आफूलाई बढी सुविधायुक्त लाग्ने मिलन बताउछन् । पल्सरलाई आवश्यकता अनुसार मोडिफाई गरेर पनि स्टन्टका लागि उपयुक्त बनाउन सकिन्छ । उनी भन्छन्, ‘सस्तो मूल्य भएर पनि पल्सर पावरफुल समेत छ ।’ मिलनको मामाघर ललितपुरको जावलाखेल हो । यद्यपि उनी १८ बर्ष पछि मात्र मामाघर आए । यही समयमा उनले स्टन्ट प्रदर्शन गर्न पनि भ्याए । उनले धरानमा पनि यस्तो स्टन्ट प्रदर्शन गरिसकेका छन् । जीवनमा लगभग २० बाइक परिवर्तन गरिसकेका मिलनले कक्षा १० पढ्दा नै बाइक चलाउन सिकेका थिए रे । त्यतिखेर यामाहाको आरएक्स १०० को सिटको उचाइ घटाएर भए पनि उनी बाइक चढेका थिए रे । यद्यपि स्टन्ट शोमा भने पछि मात्र मन गयो । स्टन्ट शो आफैमा जोखिमयुक्त खेल हो । त्यसैले होला, पहिलो पटक छोराको यस्तो दृश्य देख्दा उनकी आमा रुनुभएको थियो रे । बुवाले भने लुकेर भए पनि मिलनको यस्तो स्टन्ट हेर्नुहुन्छ । मिलनले नै आफ्नो स्टन्ट भएको समयमा बुवालाई नआउन अनुरोध गर्छन् । त्यसैले पनि बुवाले लुकेर हेर्ने गरेको उनले बताए ।
यस्तो अनौठो खेलको अभ्यास गर्दा पनि अहिलेसम्म मिलन खासै ठूलो दुर्घटनामा भने परेका छैनन् । उनी भन्छन्, ‘सामान्य रुपमा त १५÷२० पटक लडे हुँला । तर त्यस्तो ठूलो दुर्घटना भने भएको छैन ।’ कुनै अभ्यासमा चित्त बुझेन भने उनले राती सपनामा पनि त्यही स्टन्ट गरेको देख्छन् रे । प्रस्तुति : एकराज सुवेदी Via nepalauto


Indian Gorkha Kumar Thapa the only Indian to scale Mount Everest and reach South Pole

11:45 AM
A Siachen warrior: This is the first Indian man to reach Mt Everest and South Pole

Writes Sushant Singh 

“I want to be the first Indian man to complete The Three Poles Challenge.”

Arjun Kumar Thapa is the only Indian man to have reached the top of Mount Everest and South Pole. But, he has also done what many others who have reached both these places won’t ever be able to do: two stints at the Siachen glacier.

A Havaldar with the Gorkha Regiment of the Indian Army, Thapa completed the feat on May 20, when he scaled the Everest as part of a 30-member Indian Army Massive Everest Expedition: 2016. This team will be ceremonially flagged in by the army chief in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Two Indian twins, Tashi and Nungshi Malik, daughters of a retired army officer, had achieved the feat last year when they reached the South Pole.

Thapa, 34, had reached the South Pole in Antarctica as part of an eight-member army team on January 15, 2011. The team had covered the distance of 1170 km in 50 days of skiing.
Speaking exclusively to The Indian Express, Thapa said that “even though both are glaciers, the two challenges are totally different. The journey to South Pole is on a flatter terrain, with gradual slope and there is no problem of oxygen. The climb to the peak of Everest has more obstacles, particularly the icefalls like the Khumbu icefall.”
Arjun Kumar Thapa is a second generation soldier, whose father had also served in the Gorkha regiment.
Thapa is a second generation soldier, whose father had also served in the Gorkha regiment.
While travelling to South Pole, Thapa said that the challenge is to remain fit for 50 days of skiing, with little time for recovery. He had achieved the feat during the period of six months of continuous daylight at Antarctica, which made rest even more difficult. “For the first week, I couldn’t even sleep in Antarctica. But then you get tired and you start sleeping,” says Thapa, father of a one-year-old son.
On the climb to Everest, he says that there is enough time for recovery but there is always a danger for life and safety. In 2016, so far, six climbers have lost their lives and more than 25 rescued after going down with frostbite and hypothermia.
A Havaldar with the Gorkha Regiment of the Indian Army, Thapa completed the feat on May 20, when he scaled the Everest as part of a 30-member Indian Army Massive Everest Expedition: 2016.
His two stints at Siachen, one at the Siachen Battle School from 2013-15 and the other at Southern Glacier with his battalion from 2006-08, were of great help in his climb to South Pole and Mount Everest. In 2012, he was part of the team which opened the route at Siachen Glacier from Bhim to Shiyagra Complex. “You get used to living at a glacier and it also toughens you mentally for any hardship. There can be no better preparation than that,” says Thapa, proudly wearing the Everest badge on the left pocket of his army uniform.

Lt Colonel RS Jamwal, the team leader of the Everest expedition team and a three-time Everest climber says that “the expedition was a particularly successful one, with 14 of our team scaling the peak at Everest, as planned by us. We had no casualties. Five of our boys also successfully participated in the Everest Marathon, the highest marathon event in the world.”
The Everest Marathon is an annual event held on May 29, to commemorate the day
Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first climbed the Everest.
The Everest Marathon is an annual event held on May 29, to commemorate the day Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first climbed the Everest. The 42-kilometre race starts from the Base Camp at 17,500 feet and ends at Namcha Bazaar at 12,000 feet. The Indian participants completed the race in a time of 5.30 to 6 hours, Jamwal said.

Having reached South Pole and Mount Everest, what is next challenge for Thapa? “The North Pole”, the soldier replies, “I want to be the first Indian man to complete The Three Poles Challenge.”


Via indianexpress



Bhaichung Bhutia inaugurates sports development office for north Bengal, push for cricket

11:21 AM
Baichung inaugurates sports development office for north Bengal

Writes Prashant Acharya for EOI
SILIGURI 4 Jul 2016 Former footballer Baichung Bhutia today inaugurated the office of the North Bengal Board for Development of Sports and Games (NBBDSG) at the Kanchenjunga Stadium for the all-round development of games and sports in the region.

"The board will work for the development of sports and games in the seven district of north Bengal. Besides promoting football and other games, the board is working hard to bring IPL cricket league to Siliguri. But as the existing size of the stadium is small, we are planning to develop the infrastructure with the support of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB). I have already discussed the matter with CAB president Sourav Ganguly. The names of the board members have not been announced yet; hence work and necessary procedures will start after the formation of the board," he informed.

When he contested the state Assembly polls as a candidate from Siliguri, Baichung had said his main focus would be to develop sports and games in the region. He had said, "I will change the entire picture of Siliguri within a year and promote sports and games, especially football, by developing a number of training centres."
Bhaichung Bhutia
Bhaichung Bhutia
The decision to open an office was after an announcement by chief minister Mamata Banerjee during her recent visit in Siliguri. She had announced the names of Baichung as chairman, table tennis player Mantu Ghosh as vice-chairman and GNLF chief Mann Ghisingh as board member. However, Ghosh and Ghisingh were not present at the inaugural function.

On the other news article published on Telegraph, Bhaichung push for cricket - Bhaichung Bhutia, the chairman of North Bengal Board for Development of Sports and Games, today said he would speak to Sourav Ganguly, the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal, on holding IPL matches at the Kanchenjungha Stadium here.

Bhutia, who inaugurated the sports board's office at the stadium today, also said he would try to bring Indian Super League football matches to the ground.

"I will talk to Sourav Ganguly so that we can get IPL cricket matches at Kanchenjungha stadium. We have a good stadium that can host big cricket and football matches," said Bhutia.

Sources said the former national soccer team captain had already spoken to the president of the CAB in this regard.

"Ganguly has suggested that the existing infrastructure of the stadium be upgraded as the size of the ground is not big enough to host IPL matches," said a source.

However, the All India Football Federation has already marked the stadium as one where only soccer matches could be hosted. 

Jitu Rai's preparations on the Road to Rio 2016 - interview with Olympic Gold Quest

10:00 PM
OGQ spoke to the 2014 Commonwealth Games champion, Jitu Rai, about his preparations on the Road to Rio 2016
Q. You were the first Indian to win a quota for Rio Olympics. How did it feel when you won the quota at the world championships in 2014?
Jitu: I was feeling the pressure at the world championship as it was the first Olympic qualification event. I had planned how I would play the final and at the end I was very happy when I won the quota for India at the very first opportunity and with it a silver medal as well.
Q. Take us through your early days in Shooting. How did you come into shooting?
Jitu: In 2007 I joined the Gorkha regiment of the Indian Army. Actually I was not too interested in shooting. I had never even seen anyone shooting. Army coach GR Garbaraj Rai "ne danda laga ke karaya shooting". I am really grateful to him today. The first gun I used was a 9mm pistol. In 2009, I went to the Army Marksmanship Unit in Mhow where I was not selected in the army team and was sent back to my Lucknow unit. After that setback, I worked very hard day in day out to improve my skills in the 10m air pistol event. I started free pistol only in 2013 and I am very glad that I won a quota in free pistol in 2014.
Q. What is your plan in the lead up to the Rio Olympics. Have you changed anything in your training?
Jitu: No I haven’t changed anything since 2014 be it my approach to a match, technical training or physical fitness. I don’t think that I need to train abroad or under a foreign coach or do things differently. I analyse my game myself and plan out the training schedule. I really like to believe in myself and trust the way I train. I am happy with the way my training is going on at the moment. The Indian Army and OGQ have played a very important role in my training. At OGQ, whatever I ask for related to my training, I get only one answer ‘Jitu ho jayega’.
Q. How do you relax and unwind?
Jitu: My way of relaxing is a bit strange. Whenever I take rest I don’t feel relaxed, it is very tough for me when my coach tells me to take rest for a day or two. I am very relaxed and get good sleep only when I do my physical fitness properly.
Jitu Rai
Jitu Rai
Q. Tell us about your family and your native place in Nepal.
Jitu: I hail from a middle class family. My village is in the middle of a forest. I was born and bought up in that forest. My father used to do farming before he joined the army. My father passed away 9 years ago and after that I joined the Army. It was then I thought to myself that I must do something big for my family. My mother was not aware that I was in the Indian shooting team and was winning medals for India till the time she came to New Delhi when I got the prestigious Arjuna Award last year. I am really happy that I have made a career for myself in shooting.
Q. Who is your favorite athlete? favorite Bollywood actor/actress?
Jitu: My favorite player is a volleyball player from my village as he was the first sportsperson I knew and I love playing volleyball as well. My favorite shooter is London Olympic Silver medalist Vijay Kumar. He has guided me a lot in my journey till now. I don’t have one favorite actress because I like everyone (laughs) but my favorite actor is Aamir Khan.


Via Olympic Gold Quest

Aman Chetri selected in U-17 Indian National Football Team

8:40 PM
28th June 2016 Gorkha youth Aman Chetri From Northeast Assam (Maligaon, Guwahati) - selected in U-17 Indian National Football Team. Son of Mr. Munna Chetri and Mrs. Seema Chetri, Aman Chetri who plays Forwards was selected for the U-17 Indian team last year by Nicolai Adam. He has been a part of the team for the past one year, went to Germany, Spain and Dubai for the exposure trips. After Sunil Chettri Captain Indian National Football Team and  Anirudh Thapa captain of the Indian National Football Team (Under-19) here is Aman Chetri another captain in the making.

Nicolai Adam, head coach of the Indian U-17 football team  had earlier said that he is finding several talented players from the Northeastern region, particularly from Manipur and Mizoram. On Assam players he said, Aman Chetry is impressing him very much. “Aman is a good player. But he got a knee injury during the last foreign tour. Hopefully he will recover soon and will be a part of the Indian team,” Adam said.
Aman Chetri selected in U-17 Indian National Football Team
Played U-16 AFC championship qualifier last year in Iran. He was a part of just concluded AIFF Youth Cup U-16. Now, he will be for Germany and Norway for 3 months on the 28th of this month.

He will play AFC championship in September, which is going to be held in Goa.

He will be a part of the U-17 Indian Football Team, in the Upcoming U-17 FIFA World Cup, which is Going to be held in India.


Sachin Tendulkar's encouragement words for Shiva Thapa

10:17 PM
23rd June 2016 The lone Indian boxer to have qualified for 2016 Rio Olympics so far, Shiva Thapa have received a vedio where Sachin Tendulkar have some supporting words for him in the popular social media. The post read "It is the biggest experience ever for any athlete to represent their nation at Olympics".A huge shout out to Shiva Thapa on his ‪#‎RoadtoRio‬. Jee jaan laga dena!"  ‪#‎AgainstAllOdds‬ Indian Olympic Association. India had gone with a 13-member squad and only Shiva qualified for the Olympics so far.

In a reaction to this gesture from the God of Cricket Shiva replied "Thank you Sir for your motivating words." This is the second time that Sachin have actually made a video for Shiva Thapa. The first time Sachin made video for Shiva was when  he replied to a question asked by Thapa in a Twitter chat, wished the 22-year-old the very best for his second Olympics. “Firstly, all the very best for the Rio Olympics. We are with you. We are supporting you. Don’t think about the pressure. Just think about the process, results will follow,” said Tendulkar (Details here Sachin Tendulkar wishes Shiva Thapa good luck for Rio Olympics 2016 )

Watch the video
In the time when boxing in India has been facing a lot of problems with the lack of a federation these words from Sachin have come as a ray of hope.



Shiva Thapa's interview about training and his hopes for Rio.

4:38 PM
In boxing, aggression is key: Shiva Thapa - the only Indian boxer to have qualified for the Rio Games so far, on his preparations and the unending chaos in the sport’s administration.
Writes Suprita Das*

New Delhi: Four years ago, he became the youngest Indian boxer to qualify for the Olympic Games. Now, Shiva Thapa, 22, says he’s grown as a boxer, despite the sport itself having stalled in India in the worst possible way over the lack of a governing body. In late 2012, the international ruling body for amateur boxing, AIBA, banned the Indian boxing federation after finding evidence of a rigged election. Ever since, Indian boxing’s administrators have been at war with each other, and the ban has stayed. The worst affected, of course, have been the boxers. There have been no national championships since 2012, the training calendar and camps for elite boxers have been thrown out of gear, and boxers have found it increasingly difficult to participate in international tournaments without a federation to represent them.

In 2012, an unprecedented eight boxers qualified for the London Olympics. This year, with just two chances left to qualify (one tournament is ongoing, the other is meant for pro boxers), Thapa is the only Indian boxer who has assured himself of a place in Rio 2016.
Thapa is the only Indian boxer who has assured himself of a place in Rio 2016.
Shive Thapa is the only Indian boxer who has assured himself of a place in Rio 2016.
The bantamweight (56kg) boxer from Assam, currently ranked No. 6 in the world, spoke in an interview about training through adversity, and his hopes for Rio.

Edited excerpts:

You’re the first and so far the only Indian boxer to have qualified for Rio. Isn’t it going to be a bit of a lonely dressing room for you?
Yes, if nobody else qualifies, it will be a little lonely, no doubt. But I am hopeful our boys have one more chance of qualifying for Rio. Vikas (Krishan Yadav) has given himself one more shot at qualifying through the AIBA pro boxing route, and I am definitely hopeful about him.

You were the youngest Indian to qualify for London four years back. How have you grown as a boxer?
A lot. I am a different person, and a better boxer for sure. When I made the cut for London, it was a dream come true. But it got over in a flash. The last four years have been spent in making myself tougher, and better. The Olympics are always a huge occasion, there is so much more we attach to it than just the competition, and any of us who have qualified who says they are not nervous, are not telling the truth.

But the experience I gained last time, I’m sure that will help. I hope it’s going to be less overwhelming. I have now taken part in two World Championships, two Asian Championships, one Olympics, one Asian Games and one Commonwealth Games—I have fought against many different opponents, which has taken my boxing to a higher level. There is a lot more self-belief in me than before. And the big stage and the spotlight does not makes me nervous.

You were just 18 when you qualified for London. What was that like?
Yes, it’s actually the scenes in my home town, Guwahati, after my qualification, that I will never forget. The road near our house was lined with cars, and people, and members of the media. For days my parents, my sister, they couldn’t do anything normally. That’s why before a big tournament I always try and make a trip back home to see my family. I’ve done it this time too. I just switch off during those days, and don’t even check my phone.

And this time, after your qualified, you posed a question to Sachin Tendulkar on Twitter...

Yes, I am a massive fan of Tendulkar, and he’s played for India in so many World Cups. So I was keen to know how the best sportspersons handle pressure at that level.

And what was Tendulkar’s advice?
He said you shouldn’t think of the outcome, but focus on the process instead. He said that the pressure will always be there, but the idea is to just enjoy the moment, enjoy being on such a big stage like the Olympics, and when you begin to enjoy yourself, the pressure takes care of itself.

You say you’ve become a better boxer. How has that happened given the mess Indian boxing is in?
It’s been frustrating, and disappointing, no doubt. That’s why when I won my Olympic quota in China, it was more like overcoming a huge mental battle. I let out a scream after my semi-final, because I was relieved. In a way, you could say there was that pent-up anger inside me, and I wanted to come out strong despite the huge administrative barriers that, not just me, all of us faced.

During the trials for the Olympic qualifiers, you got a cut above your eye, which means just before the competition, you couldn’t even have sparring sessions. Did that make it even tougher?
Yes, it’s like going to write an exam without preparing for it! I needed stitches for the injury, and then couldn’t spar with anyone for fear that the cut would open. At that time all my training and sparring was in the head.

You realize there could be a scenario where you could be competing in Rio as an International Olympic Committee or an AIBA athlete, and not on behalf of India?

Yes, I hope it’s sorted before that. I know they are making efforts in that direction. We have been competing as AIBA athletes for these two years, and of course it’s very odd to not have anything written on my vest or jacket when I am competing. Sometimes when you’re not in the ring, but somewhere around the competition venue, people come and ask you which country you’re from, and that reminds you of the reality.

What’s been the biggest hurdle in training because of the federation ban for so long?
Getting more tournaments and exposure trips, definitely. See, so much of the scoring and judging in boxing has become subjective, and you can’t do much beyond what the judge has put on his scoresheet. But we have hardly got a chance to compete under these new rules. In Patiala (at the national training camp), we may have the best sparring partners, but anyone will tell you that training and competition are completely different.

So, for example, I have been working on increasing my aggression. In today’s boxing, I think, there is no place for dormant boxers who like to back-pedal and move around the ring without the intent to throw punches and score points. Aggression is key; you don’t have any option but to go for the kill. But it’s only when I am fighting a real bout in a competition that I will be able to judge if my aggression is in the right measure, or am I going overboard.

Every bout, and every competitor, is different. There can be no formula obviously. So getting more competitions makes a huge difference. Still I would say, AIBA has been quite generous and understanding with India; it could have been far worse, we could have been banned from competing completely.

What do you make of Vijender Singh turning pro?
It’s interesting times no doubt, with the road to pro boxing in our country being paved by Vijender who has been a game changer in amateur boxing for us, and now in pro too. I think it opens many doors for boxers, especially younger boxers. Our boys have been going through uncertain times, so they are going to lap up any opportunity. If you look at any other sports, even in India itself, the coaches have been working and training and identifying youngsters for the 2020 Olympics now, and that’s how it must be. But in boxing we don’t have that, because where are the competitions to identify new boxers?

Given a chance, would you be tempted to turn pro? You definitely have age on your side.
I don’t want to predict right now, because there’s nothing else that’s on my target at the moment apart from Rio. I have worked very hard to get my ticket, I have earned it, and want to make the most of it. Any decision on the future is for a later time.

*Suprita Das is a senior sports correspondent with NDTV.

Via livemint

Anirudh Thapa captain of the Indian National Football Team (Under-19)

8:45 AM
After Sunil Chettri, here's our own Anirudh Thapa, born on 15th January 1998 in Uttarakhand, has given us more reason to watch and follow football, the most followed sport by our community, ever closely. The captain of the Indian National Football Team (Under-19) Thapa came into the spotlight when India defeated hosts Nepal to win the U-16 SAFF Championship. Anirudh Thapa is a talented midfielder whose dribbling and passing skills are a treat for the eyes.

He did his schooling from St. Stephen's in Chandigarh. This is where he started playing football at the age of 10. The 18-year-old comes from Dehradun in Uttarakhand and is currently plying his trade at the AIFF Elite Academy based in Goa.
Anirudh Thapa captain of the Indian National Football Team (Under-19)
Anirudh Thapa
Thapa joined the AIFF academy in Kalyani in 2012. He was also integrated in the India U15 squad in the same year.

In 2013, Thapa won the SAFF U16 Championship. He also participated in the AFC U16 Championship where he scored once in four appearances.

The attacking midfielder went to Malaysia to compete in the Asia U16 Championship in 2014.

In 2015, Thapa was the youngest member selected to be part of the India U19 squad who were runners-up in SAFF U19 Championship. Thapa scored twice in four matches in the competition.

He won the U19 I-league in 2015-2016 season when he captained the AIFF Elite Academy. He played 14 games and notched up three goals.

Thapa's family backs him to the hilt.

Football is his love, he eventually sees his growth in the world's most followed sport. Aspiring to become one of the best, he continues to dream to play for the national team in the foreseeable future.

 
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